Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Ingmar Bergman and Jeff Koons. When I was completing my most recent art work, (Female figure) (2014), after returning home from the studio each evening, I’d plop myself down on the couch and put on a Bergman film. This working period for me is a compacted haze and, out of all the Bergman films I watched, I can only specifically recall three: Wild Strawberries (1957), Winter Light (1962) and Scenes from a Marriage (1973).
After watching the films, I’d lie in bed or take a bath and read from the pink monograph Jeff Koons: The Sculptor (1994). It has amazing quotes by the artist, things that confused me a great deal but also opened me up to a state of non-judgement, which is what Koons wants, of course, but in my case it was true! And I’m not just saying that because he says that!
This ritual warped my mind, in a good way and, thinking back, I wanted that, because both artists reminded me of a part of myself that I shouldn’t forget to listen to: intuition.
This is very important. An artist has nothing but their intuition. It’s the crucial compass and defining characteristic of any free-thinking individual. I spent a good part of my life doubting my ideas and intentions in the fear that I’d be judged or held accountable by some invisible court. I imagined that what I wanted artistically would be judged and taken as literal intentions, instead of as what they were and always will be: things that are imagined. So, I’d like to start with a list of films that influenced me as a child and teenager, and then discuss Bergman and Koons.
Jordan Wolfson lives in Los Angeles, usa. In 2013, he had solo shows at Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK; S.M.A.K. Ghent, Belgium; and the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland. In 2014, he had a solo show at David Zwirner, New York, USA, and his work was exhibited at McLellan Galleries, Glasgow, UK, as part of Glasgow International.
First published in Issue 163